Time to step up
Both teams will be without key players for this one either due to the Gold Cup, injuries or in Kaka's case, suspension. For FC Dallas, this is a game that they have to take advantage of their depth and superior talent that is available to get the points in this one but also have other guys step up.
A guy like David Texeira needs to have a big match in this one, given how he is one of the few forwards available for FCD tomorrow night. Tex has started the last couple of matches and has shown pretty well in that time. He may not score any goals but if he can hold the ball up well for Mauro Diaz and Fabian Castillo, we'll be fine.
Another guy that I am looking to see have a big match is Michael Barrios. Given the call up to Tesho Akindele, Je-Vaughn Watson and Moises Hernandez, I see a likely spot for Barrios to start on the wings this weekend in Orlando. Barrios has done very well as of late coming off the bench for the club. He's scoring goals now and is looking far more comfortable in a Dallas uniform.
Dallas has not given up a goal in league play in a while now, almost three games. Dan Kennedy has played well in goal but part of it has a to do with Kellyn Acosta and Victor Ulloa becoming a huge tag-team in the middle of the park in front of the Dallas defense. Those two will need a big game tomorrow night on the Citrus Bowl turf to slow down a fairly skilled Orlando midfield.
I'm also looking at what the back four will be for Dallas in this one. Does Oscar Pareja go with Ryan Hollingshead at one of the full back spots opposite of Atiba Harris? Or does he play the gamble of starting Zach Loyd at full back with Walker Zimmerman in the middle next to Matt Hedges? I'd rather see the ladder of the two options but Hollingshead is a decent option at full back that we haven't discussed enough on this space.
Orlando at home
So far the Lions are doing well in their inaugural season in MLS. They are currently unbeaten in their last seven home matches. Their last loss at home was back in April, making the Citrus Bowl their own purple fortress. They have beaten some good teams at home too like the LA Galaxy, D.C. United while drawing teams like Columbus and New England.
FCD does only have one road win in their last nine games, a big one over Houston back in May.